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stephenb
Feb 02, 2012

How well do those privacy screen protectors work?

I was looking though a magazine I picked up at CES, and saw an ad for 3M privacy screen protectors for tablets, smartphones and laptops. I missed the booth where they had them, so I didn't get a chance to see them in person. Maybe I'm a little paranoid about it, but I've always been uncomfortable using my laptop in public. Even when I have nothing to hide, I still feel uncomfortable knowing that someone could be watching my display. It may be weird, but that's just me I suppose. Plus there are times when I am actually entering financial data that I wouldn't want seen. In any case, the 3M screens attach like most screen protectors, and block the display from being viewed except from pretty much straight on. Does anyone know how well they work, and how durable they are. I think that they are relatively costly, and don't want get it if I have to replace it all the time should they scratch really easily.

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Balaji Muniraju
07/14/2014

I have been using this from 2010 - 3M Privacy Filters:
Helps to keep confidential information private,

Data on screen is visible only to persons directly in front of the monitor, passersby see only a dark screen similar to shutdown system. This is not password protected or technically protected, just an illusion.

Dont consider this as an software protection.
This is just to make sure passerby dont see whats on your monitor window open.
 

Observed it Improves screen contrast and reduces screen glare and reflections.

it was $5 when i bought and now its too high at #38's !! 

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becker
02/03/2012

There is something similar that I've seen for license plates.  The cover basically has vertical "lines" that distort the image when viewed from the side, the idea being that "red light" cameras would have not be able to photograph the plate.  Whether it worked for its stated purpose, I don't know, but without a doubt it blocked my view of the object behind the cover when viewed from any significant angle.  The image remain clear from straight on, with some vertical stripes "ghosted" through the cover.  Obviously this is different from the 3M screen covers, but it is the same basic idea, so I would expect the 3M cover to work quite well at stopping "peekers".  I can't speak to durability, but judging from the age of some of the 3M post-it notes around my desk, I would expect it to outlast cockroaches and be Chuck Norris tough.      

jimlynch
02/03/2012
I haven't used one, but I like the idea. I tried finding some reviews for you, but there don't seem to be a lot out there. I suggest checking Amazon.com for the privacy screen that interests you, then reading whatever user reviews are available.

I can see how it would be irritating to have somebody peeking at your screen, especially if you were on a bus or plane. It would be nice if people were more courteous and didn't do that. Then again, some people might not have seen your device. So some of it might just be curiosity about your "cool device" versus being a blatant attempt to see your data.

Of course you could always just turn around and say "do you mind?!" and then see what they do. ;)
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